A Final Bloom Before the Cold

Monday Morning Musings:

“It was a happy thought to bring 
To the dark season’s frost and rime 
This painted memory of spring, 
This dream of summertime. “

–John Greenleaf Whittier, “Flowers in Winter”



A surprising last bloom of the geranium in November.


A final bloom,

flowers that were vibrant red

fragrant in the summer heat,

now scentless,

a different hue against autumn’s rusts and gold,

in the cold,

a final bloom,

tired, but heroic,

a reminder,

a last hurrah,

as the nights grow longer

and we must grow stronger,

winter is coming.


The skies darken and the winds howl,

we huddle under blankets,

fill the house with the scents of cinnamon, apples, pumpkin,

and freshly baked bread,


Apples cooking for Thanksgiving applesauce



Artisan-style bread to eat with our soup


I think of tea and oranges that come all the way from China,

we eat, sustaining ourselves with hearty soup, a hunk of cheese,

a glass of wine and Netflix,

we smile and dance with the opening credits,

wondering where life is headed,

winter is coming.


We go to see Loving

a quiet, unassuming film

about the landmark decision,

Loving v. Virginia,

we watch and listen

two ordinary people,

black and white,

they want to marry, not fight,

but their marriage a crime under Virginia law.

I want to scream at the hypocrisy

the result of the slavocracy

of the state of Virginia, how

centuries of miscegenation,

and the degradation

the rape of black women,

and the suffering of families,

and the telling of lies.

But the heart is not silenced

And love still sings.

I cry at the end,

happy with the result that justice brings,

that our system worked then,

(and I think, too, more money to the ACLU.)


We discuss the movie over vegetable pakoras,

vegetable soup, naan

yellow dal tarka

and other delights,

a buffet,

and we eat too much,

but they’re all so delicious,

these Indian dishes,

warm and comforting on this cold day

when we sense that winter is coming.


Autumn leaves against the wind-swept clouds


Winter is coming

will we see another bloom?

The bloodred blossoms of civil rights

fading, turning to dust

causes forgotten, results of long fights,

gone with civility,

(utter imbecility)

social contracts, death of the Great Experiment,

But still we know,

that love is love,

and we must shout what’s in our hearts,

Ask not what you can do for your country

Ask not for whom the bell tolls

It tolls for you and me,

good or evil

we are stronger together,

winter is coming.


We laugh and talk


Well, life must go on

even when the bloom is gone

even in winter.

From within the darkness

we light the candles

to illuminate the room

to cast the shadows to the corners,

amidst the cold,

amidst the gloom,

we seek warmth

and offer shelter

when the winter comes.


We prepare for the long winter,

not to be seduced by the stark beauty of the snow

but noticing the cracks in the ice.

The last bloom, as autumn turns to winter,

and we remember spring

a distant, buried memory,

we remember and hope

for new blooms

after the winter comes—

and goes

and spring returns.


We saw the movie, Loving.


Time for blankets–it’s going to be a long winter.


22 thoughts on “A Final Bloom Before the Cold

    • Thank you, Marian. I’ll take “elegiac but hopeful.” 🙂

      I’ve recorded the Durrells series, but I haven’t watched it yet. Now that some of the others that I watch are taking a break, I may finally watch it. Do you also watch Indian Summers? I love that series, but I haven’t watched last night’s episode yet.

  1. That was wonderful, Merril! I so want to see the movie Loving as well… Winter has appeared this morning with a good blanket of snow here in the Montreal area…

  2. I think it says something that a movie about those times can be made with the assumption that a good majority (I would hope) of the viewers would sympathize with a couple in this situation. For others, it should be a lesson, even today.
    Unfortunately, it’s not showing in my area. When (If) it does, it’s likely to be at one art house, so I’ll have to keep my eyes open, I’ll probably see it on-demand.

    • Apparently there have been other movies about this case and a documentary. Also, there was a Life magazine photo shoot of the couple before their case went to the Supreme Court (that they recreate in the movie). I would also hope that most people would sympathize with the couple. Unfortunately, we know some people would not.
      I would think the movie will show up On -demand. There are so many good movies coming out now. We’re fortunate to have many theaters in the area that show independent and foreign films, as well as the more mainstream ones.

  3. It’s going to be a long four years, Merril. . .
    I like the cat cozy in its blanket, which would be nice to pull over our heads!
    I would like to see the movie, “Loving.” I saw the couple on a television morning show. They see simple, unassuming and it turned out well for them. Love is the only thing. What the world needs now is love sweet love. 🙂

    • The cat on the blanket is the one who’s my special guy. He follows me around the house, and he sleeps curled up against me. 🙂
      I think the actors who played the roles did a great job, and from the photos I’ve seen, they do resemble the Lovings.
      Unfortunately, their situation/case dragged on for such a long, and Richard Loving died 7 or 8 years after the Supreme Court decision.
      You are right, the world needs lots of love sweet love!

      • Oh, then a similar couple was on the Today show who had endured the prejudice and similar situation. I have only fifteen minute work break in the morning so may have misunderstood which biracial couple was shown currently. I bet I could look this up if I had more time!
        Getting ready and Mom up to go to breakfast. Nurses aide is talking to her now. I will drive home today, as possibly mentioned (Sat.)
        I also saw the black and white filmography that CBS had on the situation. Have a great rest of the weekend!

      • Sweet cat and so nice to have a little buddy to be your shadow. . . Mom enjoyed seeing her dogs on Thanksgiving. Once she had her Nikki here at her senior living apartment. Then, she fell on wet grass here and broke her hip. She was told couldn’t have them, which was a relief since snow and icy sidewalks aren’t always cleared at hours she walked Nikki. So the lively one and older Nikki were so excited to see her. 🙂 My brother and SIL have big Lab and their Newfoundland passed away last summer. Pets are big sources of comfort and warmth. ❤

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